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Why Don’t My Cats Cuddle With Each Other? 10 Vet-Approved Reasons

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Singapura Cat Breed Info

Why Don’t My Cats Cuddle With Each Other? 10 Vet-Approved Reasons

VET APPROVED

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There are few things cuter than the sight of two cats snuggling together. When they start grooming each other, your heart just melts. Unfortunately, not all cats will cuddle with each other.

It can be disheartening when your cats do not cuddle with each other, especially if they previously did so. There are multiple reasons that your cats may not cuddle with each other, though. The good news is that they aren’t all negative!

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The 10 Reasons Cats Don’t Cuddle Together

1. They Don’t Share Well

Just like with small children, not all cats like to share their stuff. If your cat has a special bed that they particularly like, they may not want to share it with your other cat. Cats can be picky creatures, and it may be the case in your home that one or both of your cats simply aren’t interested in cuddling with each other because they don’t want to share the space with the other members of the house.


2. They Have Set Territories

Cats are instinctively territorial, and though they often get along well if they feel like they have enough resources, they may not be as accommodating if they feel like some resources (such as a preferred resting spot or bed) are limited.

Territories can have a specific meaning to your cat, but they may also be seemingly nonsensical to you. For example, your cat may consider an area with specific resources, like food, water, bedding, or your attention, to be their own territory. On the other hand, some cats may just choose to spend time in separate areas, setting their own territories for no reason in particular.

Striped grey cat curled up in bed
Photo Credit: João Jesus, Pexels

3. They Want Personal Space

There’s nothing worse than wanting to have some personal space, only to have someone in your face. Just like how you might not always want your kids or significant other to cuddle with you, your cat may feel the same way about your other cat.

Sometimes, cats may just want to have a little bit of space to themselves. This may be a consistent thing for your cat, but it’s also possible that one of your cats may choose to not cuddle with the other cat in order to have some personal space.


4. They Weren’t Socialized

Socialization can occur at any age, but it’s considered difficult for a cat to become easily socialized beyond the age of 8 weeks or so. If your cat wasn’t socialized when they were still young, they may be hesitant to cuddle with another cat. Anecdotally, this seems to be the case with kittens that were the only kitten in a litter.

Lack of socialization can occur for multiple reasons. If your cat was taken from its mother and littermates too early, this can result in poor social skills. Socialization with members of your household and other pets while still young can help your cat more easily integrate into new situations.

Just like with people, there are some cats that may have all the advantages for proper socialization, but due to specific environmental factors, they may not become properly socialized.

sick kitten
Photo Credit: Quangpraha, Pixabay

5. They’re Warm

Much like us, cats are warm-blooded. This means that their bodies can regulate their temperature to a certain extent. If your cats are feeling too warm, they may not want to cuddle with each other and might seek out ways to cool down instead. This includes lying down on a cool surface (such as tiles or a bathtub), drinking more water, moving away from sunlight or sources of heat, and of course, avoiding the company of other cats that wish to cuddle.

This is likely if you keep your home extremely warm or if you don’t have air conditioning and live in a warm climate. Regardless of why your home might be hot, cats can get hot enough that they may choose not to cuddle with your other cat.

Please keep in mind that fur plays an active role in thermoregulation in both the summer and winter months. In the winter, fur acts as an insulator, trapping air near the body and warming it to keep your cat comfortable. During the warmer months, cats naturally shed their undercoat to allow for more air circulation under their coat. Their coat also naturally helps deflect sunlight away from their skin. Therefore, you shouldn’t shave your cat’s fur if you think they are warm. Grooming your cat to help them remove their undercoat is perfectly acceptable though.


6. They Feel Safe Apart

One of the reasons that some cats like to cuddle with each other is because it provides a sense of safety and comfort for them. For cats that are confident and feel safe in your home, they may not feel the need to cuddle for comfort and safety.

If your home environment helps your cats feel safe and confident, then this is a fantastic and healthy environment for them. The desire for safety isn’t the only reason that some cats cuddle, but it can be common, especially in high-stress homes.

Two cats in a cat tree with scratching post
Photo Credit: RomeoEbaloo, Pixabay

7. They Don’t Like the Same Spots

Territory aside, it’s possible that both of your cats have very particular preferences for spaces in your home. Maybe one of your cats is social and outgoing, often spending time in the living room with the family, while the other cat prizes quiet spaces and loves napping in the empty guest bedroom. Your cats may get along well and enjoy spending time with each other, but when it comes to downtime, they may simply have very different preferences.


8. They Don’t Like Each Other

This might not be the answer you’re hoping to hear, but there is a chance that your cats simply don’t like each other. This could be because of feeling like the environment is generally unsafe or uncomfortable, having negative experiences with each other or other animals, trauma, not liking the competition for resources, or any combination of these.

While there are steps you can take to make your cats more comfortable with each other, it may not be realistic for certain cats to get to a point of liking each other.

cats in grass
Photo Credit: Astrid Gast, Shutterstock

9. One of Your Cats Suddenly Smells Strange

A rather interesting aspect of a multiple-cat household is recognizing that cats primarily identify each other via scent. At times, you might find that your cats are perfectly comfortable with each other’s presence prior to you taking one of them to a veterinarian (or any other place with other animals). The cat may return smelling completely different and upon their return, you may suddenly find that the cat at home is suddenly not comfortable with the other cat upon their return. This can unfortunately escalate to aggression among cats as well.

Though reintroductions are definitely a possibility, it’s obvious that during the period of stress, your cats may no longer be comfortable cuddling with each other simply because they’re not able to properly identify each other.


10. One of Your Cats Is Unwell

A cat that’s unwell might not be in the mood to cuddle, as they simply may not feel up for it. If your formerly cuddly cats have suddenly stopped cuddling, one (or both) of them might be unwell and in need of veterinary care.

female vet examining a cat
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

yarn ball dividerHow to Get Cats to Cuddle

Try to focus less on getting your cats to cuddle with each other and more on creating a happy, healthy, low-stress environment for your cats. By providing your cats with safe places to spend time together and apart, ensuring they have access to all necessary resources, and working with them on socialization and spending time together, you’ll set your cats up for success and happiness in your home.

Compatible and healthy cats may cuddle with each other, but some cats will never feel the need or comfort level to cuddle with each other. Don’t try to force cuddling on your cats, though, since this can lead to stress.

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Conclusion

There may be multiple reasons that your cats don’t cuddle with each other, and some of them are issues that you can remedy. It’s important to recognize that some cats simply aren’t cuddlers, though.

It’s possible that your cats aren’t cuddling because of a problem, or maybe because they simply have different preferences for where they spend their time and how they feel most comfortable.


Featured Image Credit: Raw Singapura and Pedigreed Singapura side by side by Straits Singapuras licensed by CC 4.0

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